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  • David Bentley

Louien (Norway): Better Woman (lead single from EP)

A couple of weeks ago we highlighted The Northern Belle, on whose song Louien guested. Now it is her turn, and this is the lead single from an EP, ‘No Tomorrow’, which will be released on 4th June (Jansen Records).

Louien is Live Miranda Solberg, from Nesodden in the Oslo fjord, who has another project as well - Silver Lining - a quartet of Oslo songwriters. Her debut album ‘None of My Words’ dealt with the trauma left behind by her father’s death but ‘No Tomorrow’ despite its forbidding title that could belong to the Terminator franchise actually details her life in the here and now, with all the emotions that go with it.

There’s an attention-grabbing concept behind this song. It is about an argument between a woman and her partner, someone she’s in love with, but she doesn’t know how to get through to. But rather than blame him (or her) she blames it on her own ‘lack’ as a woman; sensing that she isn’t good enough, warm enough, funny enough. (“You have given up on us so I’m giving up on me”). She wishes she didn’t have so many feelings swirling around and perhaps even wishes she was a man. Well that’s the last thing I was expecting to review in the week of International Women’s Day.

And as she is billed as ‘an indie folk act’ neither was I expecting the musicality of the song. There’s an orchestra load of instrumentation on show here. It starts off like a Simon & Garfunkel song then about 40 seconds in it’s as if Joan Jett strolled in off the street and started to play guitar, or perhaps her countrywoman Anne Lise Frøkedal. Then half way through it morphs again, this time into something that sounds like it belongs on Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. And her voice – especially in the bridge – well, it’s Jenny Lewis. Silky smooth and sexy at the same time.

The PR tells me that after the long drawn out labour of writing her debut album and its sad theme, she wanted this to be an ephemeral collection of songs. No way, I want more of this and I can’t wait for the EP.

‘Better Woman’ is released today Friday 12th March.

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